Many business owners think of brochures as corporate documents explaining their business to people. This isn’t far from the truth, but it’s not on the bullseye either; a brochure is equal parts informational document and persuasive advertisement.
Just like the design of a banner ad or newspaper ad can affect its response rate, the design and layout of your company’s brochures can have a significant effect, either positive or negative, on their response rate and return on investment.
Structure your brochure right and you’ll gradually warm prospects up to your offer and generate responses. Structure it the wrong way and you’ll end up with very few convinced prospects and a great deal of lost attention.
In this guide, we’ll break down the structure of an effective brochure into five parts, from heading to call to action, to help you design, write and publish more profitable and effective brochures for your business.
The heading is the first thing readers will notice, so it’s important to get it right. A great heading will draw in prospects and encourage them to read the rest of your brochure; a bad one, on the other hand, will quickly repel them.
The best headings catch your audience’s attention and give them a reason to read on. They’re often provocative, thought-provoking, funny, controversial, interesting or straightforward and simple.
Your heading should give readers an idea of what to expect, making it easy for them to continue into your subheading and copy. Don’t be too clear – a little bit of mystery is a good thing – but let readers know what to expect to avoid losing them.
The subheading expands on the themes mentioned in your heading, giving readers a more complete description of your product, service or brand. A heading of “We Have The World’s Most Effective Vacuum Cleaner” could be followed by:
- “Clean your whole home in less than 10 minutes!”
- “Designed for carpets, wooden flooring and tiles!”
- “Now learn how you can use it to clean your home!”
A good way to write effective subheadings is to think of the text as a caption for your heading. Just like a caption below an image explains and expands on the content you view in the image, a good subheading expands on the topic of the heading.
Image (and caption)
Images are hugely important in marketing documents, particularly in brochures and other items that are largely visual. A good image can increase the number of people that read your brochure and convince more readers to take action on your offer.
Choose an image that either matches your target audience (for example, a successful middle-aged male in an advertisement for golf clubs) or matches what your audience wants to be.
It’s also important to use a caption below your image. People typically read captions before viewing the image they’re related to, making a caption a great opportunity to introduce a benefit or product or unique selling point.
While your heading catches the audience’s attention and your subheading explains your product in greater detail, it’s your sales copy that draws readers closer to your product and finally encourages them to take action.
Good copy is descriptive, interesting, engaging and action-focused, encouraging the audience to learn about the product or offer. It’s also typically focused on the offer’s benefits for customers, rather than its features or technical specifications.
If your brochure isn’t drawing people in, or you notice that people finish reading but fail to take action, your copy may be failing to connect with your audience and bring them into a buying mood.
Call to action
Every effective brochure ends in a call to action – a message encouraging readers to call your business, visit your website, drop in to your store or send an email in order to learn more about your offer.
Without a call to action, only a fraction of your readers will respond to your message and act on it. An engaging call to action mobilizes your readers and makes them act, increasing your response rate (and profitability) significantly.
The best calls to action encourage responses that work for your business and your audience. Think of the best way to interact with your customers – by phone, email, in person or online – and make it the primary goal of your call to action.